Tired of BI projects stuck in the slow lane? Dive into the fast and furious world of Agile! 🚀
If you want to know how your projects can be adaptable to the inevitable changes, how you can deliver value quickly (even in less than a week), and incrementally, and if you want to learn about how to create a collaborative environment, even under pressure of deadlines, this is the book for you! And you can download the first three chapters now!
Whether it is a Big Data project, or simply getting some market or sales data to your sales people, BI (business intelligence) projects are critical for most companies today.
These projects are often manned, and managed by IT departments, which don’t have the same resources or access to Agile consultants as Engineering departments do. However, IT-led, or business-led internal software projects need to be Agile as much, if not more than, engineering departments today.
Introducing “How to Succeed With Agile Business Intelligence” – your ticket to Agile BI success. Packed with battle-tested methods and Agile tools, this book is your secret weapon for steering data-driven projects through the Agile maze.
Hacking culture through conversations: Agile Conversations book
One of the interesting points the authors make is that the conversations that happen (or not) in an organization are what defines the culture of that organization. In this segment, we talk about why we must pay special attention to the quality of the conversations, and why talking about culture, without talking about the conversations in an organization, is a dangerous pattern.
Finding and entering the right conversations in your organization
Why don’t Scrum Masters take a more active role in the conversations ongoing in their organization? We discuss the fear that drives the inaction of Scrum Masters and suggests some techniques we can use to get ourselves, and others to take an active part in shaping the organizational culture and conversations.
We talk about how “frustration” can be a resource for Scrum Masters to find and unlock important conflicts and related conversations. Scrum Masters must take an active part in finding that frustration, and using it to move the team, and the organization forward.
In this segment, we discuss the Ladder of Inference (avoiding jumping to conclusions), and the TDD for people tool (audio).
A call to action: mine for conflict to help your team and organization grow!
We end this episode with a call to action. We discuss how mining for conflict (seeking conflict and using it to generate energy that drives conversations) can help you pave the way for a transformation in your team and in your organization.
We refer to The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, to describe how to create a safe environment where conflict is seen as an opportunity, rather than a threat.
About Douglas Squirrel and Jeffrey Fredrick
Squirrel has been coding for forty years and has led software teams for twenty. He uses the power of conversations to create dramatic productivity gains in technology organizations of all sizes. Squirrel’s experience includes growing software teams as a CTO in startups from fintech to biotech to music, and everything in between. He lives in Frogholt, England, in a timber-framed cottage built in the year 1450.
Jeffrey Fredrick is an internationally recognized expert in software development and has over twenty-five years’ experience covering both sides of the business/technology divide. An early adopter of XP and Agile practices, Jeffrey has been a conference speaker in the US, Europe, India, and Japan. Through his work on the pioneering open-source project CruiseControl, and through his role as co-organizer of the Continuous Integration and Testing Conference (CITCON), he has had a global impact on software development.
Peter and Michael just finished the first half of a book they are writing together on the topic of shifting our attention, and focus from the “product” focused techniques to “people” focused techniques in order to achieve superior performance.
When Ben moved to another team he faced some pretty challenging situations. A fully distributed team with a Scrum Master in another country trying to juggle the time zone differences.
It was only fitting that Ben would then take over the Scrum Master role shortly after. The journey from developer to Scrum Master is hard enough, but in this story, we talk about how to take on the Scrum Master role for a distributed team as well. Not an easy first assignment as a Scrum Master. Listen in to learn about that journey and the lessons that you can apply in your own work.
The major obstacles Ben faced in his Scrum Master journey
Innovation is a topic that gets a lot of attention. There are innovation processes, specific creative games for teams to work with to seek innovative ideas. There’s the Lean Startup movement that tries to codify innovation-friendly processes, and there’s also the UX community pushing the argument that we need more innovation in software companies.
You’ve probably heard the same argument at work. We need to be more innovative to be competitive. Great! But how?
In this episode, we explore how leaders can set up their organizations for innovation. Ryan Jacoby helps us explore the how of that critical question: how can we be more innovative?
The first action you, and your organization need to take
Ryan describes an approach that aims to focus on the team and organization on the customer needs. His approach is simple and immediately actionable. First start by jotting down in plain language and from the point-of-view of the user/customer: what problems are you trying to solve for that customer? Select the top 3.
The other dimension of innovation is your organization’s goals. Define what it means to meaningfully grow the impact of the organization over 6 to 18 months. This growth could be in the number of customers, revenue growth, profit, etc.
Now you have the start of a growth strategy that is centered on customer needs and also directly linked to the company’s/organization’s growth. Next, we talk about innovation in practice.
The 7 responsibilities of an innovation leader
When it comes to putting innovation in practice, Ryan argues that there are 7 areas to take into account.
Define progress for your organization, in other words: what is the impact you seek and the growth in that impact factor
Set an innovation agenda by prioritizing the innovation problems to solve, user and customer groups you want to serve, nature type of innovation to pursue.
Create support teams that build the product
Cultivate the ingredients for success for innovation
Giving great feedback to teams: prepare and setup the feedback moments so that teams can learn quickly.
Reward progress (as defined in #1)
Ryan explains how he came to value these 7 responsibilities of an innovation leader by telling us his own story when he was responsible to help the New York Times grow their impact through innovative solutions.
Ryan’s book: lessons learned about each of the 7 responsibilities of an innovation leader
Ryan Jacoby, is the founder of MACHINE, a strategy, and innovation company that helps its clients Think Big and Act Small.
MACHINE clients over the years have included people responsible for growth and innovation at The New York Times, Marriott, Viacom, Etsy, Google, Nike, The Washington Post, Feeding America, Fresh Direct, NBC Universal, and The Knight Foundation.
Prior to founding MACHINE, Ryan led teams and relationships at the design and innovation firm IDEO. He was a founding member and location head of the IDEO New York office and built the Business Design discipline at the firm.
Ryan is also the author of the book named “Making Progress” with Sense and Respond press. A book he describes as “a tactical guide for you, the person charged with leading innovation”